Praying for the Persecuted

IDOPI have been reading of some of the persecution and hardships that Iraq and Syria have faced as a result of ISIS. I recently came across an article on a family living in Iraq whose home, money and all of their belongings were seized by the Islamic extremists because they were Christians. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be kicked out of my home and out of the state of Washington or even out of the United States. What would it be like to wander in another country where you may not even know their language?  What would it be like to only own whatever can fit in your backpack? How would it feel to not know where food for dinner would come from that evening? And yet, more than 140,000 Christians have been forced to flee from their homes since ISIS infiltrated Iraq last year.  Iraq has a population of over 35,000,000 and only 1.4% are Christians. [1]

Unfortunately, Iraq and Syria are not the only places where Christians face many hardships and persecutions. There are many countries where Bibles are illegal to own and being a Christian can cause your family to disown you, land you in jail or a prison camp, and even have you killed. This Sunday, November 1 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. This is a day we can take extra time and pray on behalf of fellow Christians in other parts of the world who are being persecuted for their faith. Each month, an average of 322 Christians are killed for their faith and 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed. [2]

1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” Let’s pray for those in the body who are suffering from persecution.

Some ways to pray for the persecuted church:

Pray for their physical protection and deliverance
Pray for God to give them the words to speak so they can fearlessly make Christ known (Eph 6:19-20)
Pray that they will endure
Pray for their families
Pray that they would rejoice in sharing the sufferings of Christ ( Matt 5:11-12)

If you would like to be more informed on issues of the persecuted church, check out Open Doors (www.opendoorsusa.org) or – Voice of Martyrs (www.persecution.com)

[1] http://joshuaproject.net/countries/IZ

[2] https://opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/

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About Vanessa Lyon

I love Jesus. I love people. I love the beach and summertime.
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